SFJFF reveals opening night film for 36th annual fest

Tickets went on sale this week for opening night of the 36th annual San Francisco Jewish Film Festival, as organizers lifted the curtain on what the July 21 opening film will be: “The Tenth Man.”

The romantic comedy from prolific Argentinian writer-director Daniel Burman is about a middle-age man who, after building a successful career in New York, returns to his old Jewish neighborhood in Buenos Aires to rediscover his roots.

Scene from Argentinian romantic comedy “The Tenth Man” photo/courtesy sfjff

The 82-minute film premiered in February at the Berlin International Film Festival and was deemed by the Hollywood Reporter a “wryly amusing peek into Buenos Aires’ bustling Jewish quarter,” the 11th district, or Once, which is why the film was titled “El rey de Once” (the king of Once) in Spanish. Its English title alludes to the 10 men needed for a minyan in Orthodox circles.

Burman, well known to SFJFF audiences, will be at the Castro Theatre screening. His “Waiting for the Messiah” screened in the 2001 festival when he was an up-and-coming 27-year-old, and his “All In” screened in 2012.

This year’s festival, presented by its parent organization, the Jewish Film Institute, will run from July 21 through Aug. 7 at five venues: Castro Theatre (San Francisco), CinéArts Theatre (Palo Alto), Smith Rafael Film Center (San Rafael), Roda Theatre (at the Berkeley Rep) and Piedmont Theater (Oakland).

Organizers said they are expecting more than 35,000 people to attend the robust lineup of films, events and panel discussions.

After “The Tenth Man” (which features Spanish, English, Hebrew and even Yiddish dialogue) screens on July 21, there will be an opening night party at the Contemporary Jewish Museum, where partygoers can eat, drink and explore “Stanley Kubrick: The Exhibition,” which opens later this month.

More details about this year’s “double chai” festival and its complete lineup will be announced on June 21, officials said. In the meantime, for opening-night ticket information or to buy early bird all-festival passes or 10-ticket packs, visit www.sfjff.org or call (415) 621-0523.